JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The NFL Players Association has launched an investigation following Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer's admission that vaccination status factored into the team's roster decisions.
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah confirmed the union's action in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday night, hours after Meyer told reporters: "Everyone was considered. That was part of the production, let’s start talking about this and also, 'Is he vaccinated or not?' Can I say that that was a decision-maker? It was certainly in consideration."
The NFL hasn't mandated COVID-19 vaccines but has incorporated strict protocols for players who aren’t fully vaccinated.
Meyer pointed to defensive end Josh Allen missing one week because of protocols. Allen, who is not vaccinated, was activated from the COVID-19 list Monday.
"Well, Josh Allen's never had (COVID-19)," Meyer said. "He's not played in two weeks. So he's never had COVID. I don't know if I'm allowed to say that, but he's never had COVID. So that's pretty punitive."
The Patriots released Cam Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, in a surprise move to pave the way for rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Newton is not vaccinated and missed practice last week due to the protocols.
Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman raised his eyebrows when asked about Meyer's comments and if the team made similar decisions.
"We cut the roster based on the 53 best guys that we thought could help our football team," Roseman said. "And then going forward, when we look at guys, we're going to look at them based on their ability, how they fit our system, what their background is, to make sure we're bringing in the right people into this building. That's really how all our discussions have been about."